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Upon my graduation as a veterinarian at the Faculty of veterinary medicine in Utrecht (The Netherlands) in 2004, I started as a veterinary scientist in the department of virology at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research. I'm working on respiratory viral infection models offered for contract research for the evaluation of vaccines or therapeutics with main focus on Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
Bovine RSV is one of the main causative agents of respiratory infections in young calves. Interestingly, this bovine virus shares many characteristics with the genetically highly related human RSV, which often only causes a common cold, but is also the most important cause of severe pneumonia and the second cause of mortality in young infants worldwide.
WBVR has developed a model in calves which is used extensively for testing veterinary bRSV vaccines. Over the past 10 years, we have imbedded our bRSV calf model more into the human setting as well, where is an urgent - but still unmet - need for a licensed paedriatic RSV vaccine. The calf has demonstrated to be a representative pre-clinical model of high value in translational research and for testing efficacy and safety of human RSV vaccines.
It is my personal ambition to contribute to a mutual goal to prevent severe respiratory disease in calves ánd kids.